Barty, Vandeweghe rally to win US women’s doubles title

NEW YORK (AP) — Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe dropped a set and still raised a trophy.

Even with a pursuit of US Open perfection over early, Barty and Vandeweghe rallied to win the women’s doubles final on Sunday night, beating Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“We’ve done everything kind of the way that we’ve wanted to,” Barty said. “Now we get the reward.”

The 13th-seeded team of Barty and Vandeweghe knocked of the third and first seeded teams en route to their first Grand Slam doubles title as a team. They hadn’t even dropped a set over that run until Babos and Mladenovic got them in the first set.

The duo saved three championship points in the deciding set in a match — without a hint of drama that rattled the women’s singles final — that took more than two hours to complete. Barty and Vandeweghe won the second set tiebreaker 7-2 and won the third 8-6 to win for the second time in four meetings this season against Babos and Mladenovic.

CoCo Vandeweghe (L) and Ashleigh Barty pose with the trophy. – AP

“I told Ash, ‘Listen, there’s no one I’d rather be out here than with you right now. I believe in you. We’re going to get this done’,” Vandeweghe said.

Vandeweghe, niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, became the 17th American woman in the Open era to win the tournament title.

Barty had played in the doubles final at all four Grand Slam tournaments with her longtime partner, Casey Dellacqua.

Barty took a break from tennis following the 2014 US Open to pursue a cricket career. But the Australian returned two years later and reached the fourth round in singles this year at the US Open, her deepest career run in a Grand Slam.

“It’s a long time ago. It’s behind me,” said Barty, who has two career singles titles.

The team — who knocked off top-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova on the way to the final — had previously won the Miami Open in March. But winning at Ashe is as big as it gets. Barty and Vandeweghe kissed the trophy and won USD700,000 for their championship.